The CPS Energy board of trustees voted Monday to put up for sale its riverfront property at 200 Gugert Ave., located just south of the former Lone Star Brewery in the up-and-coming Mission Reach area south of downtown.
The former brewery is being redeveloped as a planned $300 million mixed-use project featuring restaurants, retail, multi-family housing, and a movie theater. The 11.76-acre Gugert property currently is zoned as a commercial storage site and served as an equipment supply yard in the past, utility officials said. It was valued at $6.3 million in 2016, according to the Bexar County Appraisal District.
The CPS Energy property also is across the river from the EPIcenter, a former CPS Energy power plant on the Mission Reach slated to become a one-of-a-kind destination for energy education and innovation.
“The Gugert property is going through an RFP [request for proposals] right now through a broker,” CPS spokesman Paul Flaningan said. “It’s still too early to tell who is going to apply for it.”
CPS Energy Vice President of Real Estate and Master Planning John Benedict said that Peloton Commercial Real Estate will assemble the request for proposals. Utility officials said the land, which was acquired by CPS in 1915, was reclassified as surplus property last December. Proceeds from the sale of the property will go to the utility’s general revenue fund.
“There’s finally been some growth in that area, and it looks like it’s actually going to be developed,” Benedict said. “It’s certainly something that, as we look at it, it’s a good opportunity for the city’s economic growth and development. We feel it’s an appropriate time for us to put it up for sale.”
The EPIcenter, which will be constructed by San Antonio-based Joeris General Contractors and is expected to cost around $74.5 million, is linked to the Gugert property by a bridge built in 1926. Benedict said the new owner could choose to reconstruct it as a vehicle or pedestrian bridge.
In addition to discussing the CPS-owned property on Gugert at Monday’s meeting, board members delayed choosing a construction manager to carry out plans for its new headquarters downtown, which will be located in the former AT&T headquarter buildings at 530 McCullough Ave.
Board members are currently deciding among three general contractors.
“Since it’s still in the competitive phase, we won’t reveal the names at this time,” CPS spokeswoman Yvonne Coronado said.
The renovation of the 430,000 sq. ft. facility will focus on sustainable construction and design and include a third-floor walkway connecting the two office towers. The northeast corner of the property will house a new 1,200-space parking garage, which will likely feature solar panels.
The Historic Design and Review Commission (HDRC) approved the preliminary design concepts for the new headquarters in November, and CPS expects employees and contractors to start moving in by late summer or early fall of 2019.
The estimated cost for the LEED Gold-certified facility is more than $100 million, said Flaningan, noting that there will be no rate increase to pay for the new headquarters.
In June, CPS Energy announced plans to move its headquarters, currently at 145 Navarro St., to the long-vacant AT&T buildings in order to meet the needs of its growing workforce and be a part of downtown’s revitalization. Board members decided that renovating the former AT&T towers on the San Antonio River was more feasible than building new headquarters.
Flaningan said the board likely will select the construction manager in April.